For eighteen years, Jo Dee Messina, the fierce red-headed country music superstar was signed to a major label. She released four studio albums, a holiday album, and a greatest hits collection. After almost five years of restriction from her label to release new music, Messina was free from her contract in 2012. Even though Messina was free from that label, her contract stipulated that she was not allowed to go and sign with another label. In 2013, at a very stressful time personally, (Messina’s mother had fallen extremely ill in April 2013, due to complications after heart surgery.) she managed to find time to connect with her fans like she never had before. She launched a Kickstarter campaign in late spring 2013, where thousands of fans (myself included) “backed” or funded the making of her new album. The album would be released independently through her own Dreambound Records. The fans were involved in nearly every aspect of the album, fans chose the songs that made the album, the album title, first radio single, and some even sang backup on a track entitled, “He’s Messed Up.”
I trusted Messina when she said she had more music to share with her fans, but was blown away when I heard the final product. The album, Me, is one of the most well constructed, personal collections I have ever heard. Messina manages to show her fiery side, as well as her more vulnerable side. It’s a contrast that really shows what kind of person she truly is. She is not just an entertainer and when you listen to songs such as the title track, “Me” you will truly understand that there is much more to her than the person you see on stage.
On songs like the album opener, “Not Dead Yet” and “I’m Free” she confidently informs the world, that the artist in her is still alive and thriving.
I think the fact that listeners get to see multiple sides of Messina, will make the album appealing to buyers. Many, like myself will realize aside from her career, she is a person too. I have a whole new respect for Messina. She was willing to go out on a limb for her fans, so that we could hear more music. Nine years later, she is still a force to be reckoned with. Sure, Jo Dee Messina has been around since the mid 1990’s, but with Me she proves that this is not just another chapter in her life, it is who she really has been all along. We are just now getting to see the full picture, and I am pleased. Very pleased. It was definitely worth the wait.
Key Tracks: “A Woman’s Rant,” “He’s Messed Up,” “Say Goodbye To Superman,” and “Me.”